Getting to Know the Common West Virginia Wasps and Bees

Posted by Matthew Rathbone on June 02, 2023 · 3 mins read

As a homeowner, it’s important to know the different types of wasps and bees you may encounter in your backyard. In West Virginia, there are several common species that can be easily identified by their appearance and behavior. In this guide, we’ll take a closer look at these insects so you can better understand them and know what to do when you come across them.

DIY Wasp removal recommendations

For non aggressive wasps I've had great luck spraying the nests with this Spectracide wasp remover in the evening. For more aggressive wasps I also use this rediculous looking upper torso Beekeeping suit. It seems silly, but trust me, it's amazing.

The Eastern Yellow Jacket

The Eastern Yellow Jacket is a type of social wasp that can be found in West Virginia. They have distinctive yellow and black stripes on their bodies and live in large colonies. These wasps are known for being aggressive and can sting multiple times in quick succession. If you encounter an Eastern Yellow Jacket, it’s best to stay away from their nest and avoid swatting at them as this can cause them to become more aggressive. Instead, try to move slowly and calmly away from the area.

The Bald-Faced Hornet

Another common wasp found in West Virginia is the Bald-Faced Hornet. These insects are larger than yellow jackets and have white and black coloring on their bodies. They build their nests in trees or shrubs and can become territorial if they feel threatened. If you encounter a Bald-Faced Hornet, it’s important to give them plenty of space and avoid swatting at them. Like yellow jackets, they can sting multiple times and their stings can be painful.

The Paper Wasp

Paper wasps are another social wasp commonly found in West Virginia. They have long, slender bodies and brownish-yellow coloring. Unlike yellow jackets and hornets, paper wasps tend to be less aggressive and will only sting if they feel threatened. Their nests are often found in sheltered areas like eaves or in bushes. If you come across a nest, it’s best to avoid disturbing it and give the wasps plenty of space.

The Honey Bee

Honey bees are an important pollinator and can often be seen buzzing around gardens and flowers. They have a fuzzy body and are typically yellow and black in color. Unlike wasps, honey bees are not aggressive and will only sting if they feel threatened. If you encounter a honey bee, it’s best to leave it alone and let it go about its business.

The Bumble Bee

Bumble bees are another important pollinator in West Virginia. They are larger than honey bees and have a fuzzy body that is black and yellow in color. Unlike honey bees, bumble bees can sting multiple times but they are not typically aggressive unless their nest is disturbed. If you encounter a bumble bee, it’s best to stay calm and give it plenty of space.

By understanding the different types of wasps and bees found in West Virginia, you can better prepare yourself for encounters with these insects. Remember to stay calm, avoid swatting at them, and give them plenty of space. If you have a nest on your property that needs to be removed, it’s best to contact a professional pest control company to handle it safely.